How to Make a Big Impact on Your Rankings

Impacting Your Search Rankings: The Simple Guide

Ryan Roberts 1 month ago

We've found that many marketers struggle with creating content and making changes to impact their rankings, but not actually seeing the uplift they expect. So in our next 'How-To' video, we've covered off some simple tips to ensure your rankings head the right way, and make your marketing activity work that little bit harder.

Transcript

Hi everyone, I’m Ryan, I’m an SEO Lead at Zazzle Media and, in this short video I’m going to talk you through some of the simple tasks I like to do early on in an SEO campaign to have the biggest impact on rankings

So, let’s get started.

The first thing I’ll do is:

Manually assess the SERPs

And I’ll do this to understand how the search landscape looks. I’d rather do this early on in the campaign, so that I know where I’m likely to rank based on a number of considerations, such as:

Types of featured snippets:

  • Local packs
  • Aggressive paid advertising
  • And how far down the page positions 1-5 are

It’s important to assess the SERPs early on to understand if my click-through rate is likely to be impacted by rich results.

After all, I want to drive traffic, not impressions.

I’ll also consider brand sentiment. We have a tool you can find here and a blog to explain more about protecting your brand sentiment in the SERPs.

Think about how heavily dominated the insurance market is by aggregators, CTM, MSM, GoCo - these kind of sites. If I know that the top 3 results are giants of in a particular industry, it’s at this point I’ll consider different ranking opportunities where competition brand sentiment isn’t as strong.

And then I’ll make sure the top ten results are all consistent in their intent. This will help me formulate a much clearer content strategy plan.

Then, I’ll ...

Look for optimisation inefficiencies

It’s really easy for brands to set and forget their on-page SEO.

Over time, a site’s content may no longer incentivise crawlers or users. Meaning brands rely heavily on SERP maturity to keep them in the positions that they’re in. There could be an issue of page importance, crawl depth, poorly written on-page SEO.

There’s so much to look for.

This is one of my favourite things to do early on in an SEO campaign. Because it gives me the confidence in my content before I think about a link-building campaign.

To do this, I’ll usually put together a list of the top ten URLs for any number of keywords and run it through Screaming Frog. Whether this is a few hundred, or few thousand URLs, what I’ll have is an output of all of my competitor’s on-page data.

You can then separate these URLs out into categories based on your keyword research so you’re not sat there wondering what to do with 4,000 rows of data. Say, for example, I did this for a travel client, I might split my results up into location, resort, holiday type… you get the picture.

From here you can spot where your opportunity is to get ahead of your competitors. Look for:

  • Page word count
  • Missing H1s and page titles
  • Poorly written meta descriptions
  • Volume of H2s and H3s
  • Unique inlinks
  • Number of external links

What you’re doing here is looking for opportunities where your competitors are possibly diluting PageRank with too many external links on a single page but with little internal links in.

And, how in-depth your competitors content is and how well targeted it is for the keyword you’re researching. If the average word count for the top 10 results is 500, but you know that there is still more you could cover within your content, then this is an opportunity to provide more value.

The whole point here is that you are identifying ways that you can create an amazing piece of content, that retains PageRank and is being shown to crawlers as an important pillar of your site.

Reducing page speed... even if you’re not a developer

Page speed is another critical consideration for any SEO.

If you’re serving content to users, it needs to be fast, and it needs to be responsive.

My favourite way to do this is to use LightHouse or GTMetrix. Running your page through these tools will help you have the right conversations with your web development team about how you can improve page load times.

A few common issues are:

  • Images
  • Code bloat

Ideally, you’ll be aiming for a load time of between 2 and 2.5 seconds. The quicker the page loads, the better, but realistically speaking, load times of 1 second may not always be possible depending on your CMS platform and developer resource.

To recap, to make the biggest impact in the rankings isn’t dark magic; it’s common sense. You look for the opportunity, you find ways to improve your content and you then serve this highly-targeted content to users quickly.

I’ve found that just by addressing on-page and page speed issues, I’ll see a healthy uplift in my positions in the SERPs.

Remember, SEO doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to be focused on providing the best experience for crawlers and users.

I hope you found something interesting in this short video, if you did, let us know by reaching us on Twitter @ZazzleMedia.

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